Next part of my short US trip’s here! This is just a side trip so I would like to thank the wonderful people who accommodated us in our 3-night stay in the Big Apple.
Anyway, so we stayed in Queens. It’s a couple of minutes ride away from all the landmarks we’ve visited so we had to make sure we have our Metro Card with a balance enough for the 4 days. (Thanks to the person who gave me mine. Actually, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to give it back to him but for now I’m claiming it. Lol.) You can reload at any train station so no worries. What’s awesome about the card is that it can be used for both the bus and the train. I’m not sure if I’d tried the subway so I couldn’t tell you if the card works there. And the fare is the same anywhere you go! 2.75$ for the bus and train alike.
As I’ve told you, Queens was a bit distant from the places we’ve visited but it’s all good, transportation there were convenient. But get used to walking distances, too!
First afternoon, we tried the bus. Just to get a sneak peek of how New York is. You can’t see much of the views when you’re on a train. It took about or maybe a bit more than an hour before we get to the Central Park. I did see a bit of the view going to our destination but I fell asleep some time in between. (This, you shouldn’t do when you’re alone. Hehe.) Anyway, our first night consisted of long walks. Our hosts said it’s very typical of New York, especially when you’re in the Manhattan area. We only rode a vehicle when going to and from the apartment where we’re staying.
So for the first night, we just wandered around Central Park and the nearby landmarks:
I don’t remember how I perceived this place before I got there but it was really nice going for a walk around or maybe taking a break in one of the benches in the park. Especially with the weather that time. It was cool and refreshing at around 20 degrees Celsius. At its outskirts are horse carriages for a couple of bucks an hour. They were pretty expensive, in my opinion. You could avail of a horse carriage ride in the Philippines for about 3 to 6 bucks or maybe 10 but not 20 or more. And if you wanted to feed pigeons, I think they were selling feeds, too.
Unfortunately, when we visited the park, a portion was closed to tourists. A VIP was supposed to be there as lots of police and guards were around. We didn’t see who it was, though. We were really pressed for time. I can’t remember clearly if someone said that the PoTUS was going.
This one’s a very long walk where you’ll see most of the succeeding stops.
The closest to Central Park was the Trump Tower along Fifth Ave. You probably won’t miss this with its huge sign and remarkable gold color. It’s a mixed-use high-rise building with very strict security. When we were there, we only had access up to the second flood where the bar was and at the basement area where the souvenir shop was.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
So we walk and walk until we passed by St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We didn’t, like, go past the Cathedral but we did go inside really quick. It’s one of the to-visit places in New York City so there were a lot tourists with us.
Rockefeller Center is quite a huge complex between the Fifth and Sixth Avenue (says Wiki). I just saw a sign saying we were there already that’s why I knew. LOL.
It’s a place for entertainment, culture and arts. And it’s also a complex of commercial high-rise buildings.
Along the way, we were told that we’re in Madison Square. So I just believed what I’ve been told. Lol. It is formed by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at the 23rd Street in Manhattan. (Thank you, Wikipedia. Hehe.)
Grand Central Station
We went here at around 7 in the evening, just around sunset. I didn’t have a good camera with me so the lighting inside at that time was bad. Lol. But, anyway, it was a pretty amusing and busy place. There isn’t a station as grand as this one in the Philippines.
Oh, as grand as it is, the station also houses a number of food stalls or restaurants where we had our dinner (and where we saw quite a number of homeless people, too. Drunk or not.) So dinner that night was Shake Shack burger and soda. I might not prefer this kind of dinner everyday but I liked the burger I ate for dinner. LOL.
Again, this is something I’ve only ever read on the internet. I’ve never thought I’ll visit a Macy’s branch so soon. There were lots of pretty things around. Self-control was very important in this place.
Last “stop” for the day was the Times Square. You know? The place where you have to take pretty blogger photos.
The weather was perfect when we were there. It’s a bit cold (for someone like me) but I thought it was perfect. So walking for miles and miles was no biggie. While it got a bit tiring, the joy of being in that place with all the other tourists around was inexplicable even if I wasn’t able to watch any of the shows in any of the theaters nearby. It just leaves me something to look forward to the next opportunity I have to go back.
Nonetheless, the next day was exciting as the first! And it’s also as exhausting. But it’s hotter because, the temperature immediately rose from like 20s to 30s so quickly. (I talk in Centigrade because I’m not used to using Fahrenheit.)
When you enter the premises of the memorial, you’d feel differently. At least that was what I felt. There’ll be a lot of people – some tourists, there might even be relatives of the people whose names were etched on it.
Battery City Park
You pass by this park on the way to the Ferry Terminal if you’re from the 9/11 Memorial area. So we didn’t really have that much of a choice. I’m not complaining, tho! The green-colored park was stunning! It felt like a runway (hence, the photo) if you ask me. There were a lot of people in this area, too. Some were exercising. Some were having a break from work and eating their lunches on the benches scattered. Some were just hanging out. It’s amazing that they have places like this park with numerous trees to serve as shade and a couple of squirrels just running around looking for food. ;-P
Anyway, we had lunch around this area. In a Chinese Restaurant, which we randomly stumbled upon because we needed a restroom break. LOL. They provide fortune cookies after the meal (and I liked the fortune I got) so all’s well.
Photo below was taken by my friend. Motto for this was “Let the world be your runway!” Luckily, I have her to take such photos while in the US!
Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration
This was one of the highlights of this trip. Of course. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s Lady Liberty! Need I say more?
Anyway, we availed the $18.50 tour to the Liberty and Ellis Islands. We weren’t able to book the tour that allows you to go up the statue but staying on the grounds were enough. I mean, you should be there to see the STATUE OF LIBERTY. And you can’t see her if you go up. HAHA. The fee includes an audio tour so don’t forget to claim the audio guide at the entrance before you go further. But do not forget to leave it behind before you hop on to another island.
Fun fact! The Statue of Liberty was originally copper-colored but oxidation happened so now it has its famous bluish-green color.
You have to book in advance or pay more if you want to go up the statue. Just in case you want to.
So yeah, Ellis Island was next on the itinerary. It was one of the earliest ports of entry in the United States that has now been turned into a museum. It showcases the different steps an immigrant had to undergo before getting a pass to the US up to around 1940s or the 50s. Be curious enough to see what’s on the second floor. You’ll learn more and maybe feel a bit relieved you didn’t have to undergo the same. This is the only part of the island open for tourists yet so don’t go wander anywhere else.
Charging Bull and the Fearless Girl at the Wall Street
After getting off the ferry, we had to walk. Again. Touring around the whole day was tiring but who am I to complain?
We walked towards the Broadway Street (Wall Street) in Manhattan and bumped into a crowd of tourists. Guess what they were doing. Taking photos with the two statues I’ve mentioned. I know there’s been some issues about those but let’s not dwell into that. So as I’ve said, a lot of tourists have crowded around them that you would have to “fight” your way to get a good shot of the Charging Bull. Taking photos with the Fearless girl was easier. But that bull? People were even satisfied with posing at its rear. Haha. It was a bit funny.
New York City Hall
So after getting the shots we wanted, we headed on to the Civic Center area of Lower Manhattan. We paused at the New York City Hall area and posed for a few group photos. And moved to our final destination for that afternoon. I mean, technically, we had to go back to this area so that we could ride the subway. LOL. If I remember correctly, that is.
It’s quite difficult to take a photo of the City Hall when you’re on the same side of the street. LOL.
Supposedly connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn is the Brooklyn Bridge. It is one of the oldest bridges in the United States.
This is quite a long walk from the City Hall so brace yourselves and look pretty when you get there. I wasn’t quite prepared. As you can see I still brought my jacket even though it was hot that day. LOL.
We had one more day in New York but we chose to stay at the apartment and eat our favorite Dunkin Donut! Walking around everyday was quite tiring.
Off to another state!
We exited New York through La Guardia Airport. I don’t know if I can say this here but it wasn’t as fun as in the other airports. I mean, first of all, the free wi-fi available was for 30-minutes only. I would be crazy if I paid 12$ for a day’s roaming internet connection (which I did, by the way, because… I got pissed. But this is a different story. Lol.) Then my flight got delayed for more than 2 hours! It would have been okay if the flight were a nonstop one but it wasn’t! And its gap with my next flight was supposedly just about 2 or 3 hours. Maybe because I expected much from New York but, oh well, I’m not one to complain. Our airports aren’t fun, too.
Anyhow, I really hope to see you again, in the near future, New York.